Top critical review
Mimicry is prerequisite for developing creativity
on April 24, 2013
The late Lee J. Ames was an accomplished artist, having worked on Fantasia and Pinocchio for the Walt Disney Studios and taught classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and Dowling College on Long Island. In his Draw 50 books, Ames presents step-by-step instructions for drawing various subjects, from beasts to aliens to magical creatures. Some of the Draw 50 volumes feature other artists with Ames, such as Draw 50 Aliens with Ric Estrada and Draw 50 Magical Creatures with Andy Mitchell.
The emphasis in these books is imitation, and Ames explains, "Mimicry is prerequisite for developing creativity. We learn the use of our tools by mimicry. Then we can use those tools for creativity." Each exercise progresses in six to eight steps until the drawing is complete, with the fine details being added in the final step. Some subjects are a bit more complicated, but none are too difficult that they cannot be mastered with patience and practice.
For those who enjoy drawing or believe they might like to learn to sketch these cartoon creatures, Ames' Draw 50 series is good place to start.